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Tenken is the fighting style used by Sōjirō, formed of the Kanji ten (meaning divine, heaven) and ken, meaning sword. Apparently granted as a title from his mentor and idol Shishio, it is named such because his talent with the sword is great enough that it seems to have simply been yielded from heaven to Earth. Sojiro's most distinctive feature is his ability to use Shukuchi, a famed and illustrious martial art which allows him to move fast enough that no human eye could detect his movement. It is not explained what gave him such unbelivable speed, but it could at least be somewhat attributed to the grunt work he did as a child (having carried many dozens of sacks of rice, which possibly strengthened legs). This is made even more deadly by his ability to completely mask his emotions, which is crucial in countering faster opponents in Kenshin's Hiten Mitsurugi-Ryu. Furthermore, his prowess with the Batto-jutsu surpasses even Kenshin's during their first encounter, though in pure drawing speed they seem relatively even. He only has one named attack derived from these abilities though, the Shuntensatsu, shun meaning instant and satsu the kanji for "kill." Sojiro typically exploits his opponent's vulnerabilities and avoids using the full speed of the Shukuchi, which in itself already makes him a formidable foe due to him already outclassing Kenshin in movement speed at 3 steps below Shukuchi. When using the true Shukuchi, he seems to move straight into a Battojutsu attack to instantly kill the target, hence Shuntensatsu.

Due to his speed being arguably the greatest in the series, Sojiro is often tasked with gathering the rest of the 9 Jupongatana that were scattered throughout Japan, as well as key assassinations due to his speed surpassing that of horses.


  • Shukuchi (lit. Reduced Earth) A technique of mobility, Sojiro moves at beyond god-like speed, which only showing his footsteps crashing into the floor. This also allows him to run on walls. He is also shown to use reduced forms of the technique, naming them (X) steps below shukuchi. Shukuchi is revealed to be the reason why he could keep up with Okubo and kill him in his carriage.

While in Japanese martial arts lexicons, the actual technique is centered on moving to the blind spot of an opponent for the best advantage, this fictional adaption centers on both this idea, and to the lore based teleporation powers of Taoist Sennin, with its name also referring to its amazingly fast and unnoticeable speed, as it is if magic was used to close the user's distance.

  • Shuntensatsu (瞬天殺) (Instant Heaven Kill) This is the only attack Sojiro named himself. It involves using Batoujutsu combined with the speed of Shukuchi. It is named for its ability to instantly kill its target victim, a process that wouldn't even be painful due to the speed with which the target is dispatched. Sojiro was supremely confident in its ability to demolish Kenshin, but by combinining his god-speed with the Ougi used to defeat Aoshi, Kenshin instead won.

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